In more recent years, C&R constructed the Aotea Centre, brought in updated by-laws, and started to commence a number of cultural initiatives, including construction of a new central library, massive renovation of the Auckland City Art Gallery in the mid 1980s, and reaching around 300 parks and reserves within the Auckland City limits. Cultural and community centres were also constructed at a rapid pace.
In 1989, amalgamation of the various council boroughs around Auckland saw the potential for some significant upheaval to the management of Auckland City. However, this was overseen with relatively little angst, in the words of Graham Bush, Auckland City Historian. C&R enjoyed almost constant control of the Auckland City in the second half of the 20th Century. C&R rarely stood Mayoral candidates, preferring to concentrate on the council organisation, but has given tacit and low key approval short of endorsement to some Mayoral candidates in the past.
During the 1990s, Citizens and Ratepayers came under some criticism for being seen as inflexible and out of touch with voters. Many of the C&R councillors had served for many years and there was a perception that it was lacking in fresh faces. Public discontent over issues like Metrowater, waste removal, the Britomart Transport Centre and proposed property developments alongside it saw sustained criticism of Auckland's political management.
After the 1998 election, a rapprochement between the Citizens and Ratepayers Association and Auckland Now occurred, with an agreement to contest the 2001 elections together under the brand "Auckland Citizens & Ratepayers Now". This merged organisation was successful in winning back the council, simultaneously with the election of the independent socially conservative centre-right Mayor John Banks (New Zealand).
However, at the 2004 election, a backlash occurred against C&R Now in some wards, seeing control of the city go to the left-wing City Vision ticket, as well as the election of a new Mayor, Dick Hubbard.
During the 2004-2007 term, a new constitution for C&R was proposed, with the effect that many in Auckland NOW joined C&R, and the organisations were effectively merged to contest the 2007 election.
C&R gained significantly in the 2007 elections, capturing a majority on the Auckland City Council elections, in addition to the re-election of John Banks (New Zealand).
The team leader and deputy Mayor of Auckland City for Citizens & Ratepayers is David Hay, a former Mayor of Mt Roskill Borough Council. Hay has served as deputy mayor of Auckland City Council for three separate, non-contiguous terms.
C&R also contests other regional elections in Auckland, including the Auckland Regional Council (a transport and environmental body), the Auckland District Health Board (which controls the management of Auckland's main health agency), plus controls the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust that controls Vector Limited, plus contests various licensing trusts for public bars.